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tv   [untitled]    December 10, 2012 1:30pm-2:00pm PST

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same ballot and it is easy as it is in san francisco politics to characterize people on either side of the aisle, and milton said "let me find out what this guy is about. let's talk" and that was very fitting because that's exactly how i knew him to operate as a public servant and a person. he wanted to talk about the china town campus and talk about my background. he asked if we should build a campus, and i said it's something that we should do and there was certainly overwhelming support for the campus, but characteristic of his style and his principles he was never afraid to question power, or to question the popular way, and he had many good points, and that was very typical of what i have known him to be as a servant at
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city college. it was very difficult in his position, often being the one vote out of seven, often finding rubber stamping of a decision, fighting the way we were spending our money for ten years. ten years he was in a position most of the time alone trying to speak up and say why are we doing this? we're running the college into the ground. this shouldn't be the way things should be, and when i got into the board and i concluded the same thing and i said "milton god bless you". i couldn't have been here for ten years and put up with this stuff ." and he just laughed and smiled and thank god he had been there for the people of san francisco for city college and more importantly the students of that institutionifieding that
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fight when no one really cared about what was happening over there. it was very easy not to care. i think that tells you something about a man, a son of privilege, fighting quietly for a decade for children who could never imagine such privilege. i think it tells you something about a man who when he finally got into power whrks he finally had a majority vote on the board of trustees and became president, which was really the last three years issue the first thing he. >> >> was establish a protocol that reminded everyone why we were there. for every vote the board cast he said we're going to hear from our student trustee first, even though they had no vote.
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it was just an advisory vote but that's exactly how we should have been operating from day one and how he wanted the college to run and that's exactly what the accrediting commission is telling us to do. he had been right. what does it tell you about a man who after brain surgery and many treatments kept coming to meetings. he kept showing up to meetings because he wanted to fix the college. he wanted to right a ship. what does it tell you about a man who i had the pleasure of driving home in his last several months? and i said "milton are you really going to run again?" and he said "yes" and i said
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"good" and we have work to do. we still have work to do". that tells me he's not just a good man and a good servant. it tells me he was a great human being. that's what that tells me about milton marks. milton has passed, but long will live his legacy of public service of courage, of accountability, of restoring and believing in what it means to have public trust in your institutions, why that is so important. he was a great mentor, and i couldn't have imagined or thought of anyone
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better to sit next to in my first years in public office. he taught me how to be a public servant and human being and most importantly how to be a good father and always there for his kids, always, and that's the milton marks i will remember. thank you. [applause] >> thank you steve. now really a pleasure and honor to welcome abbey marks. abbey levinson marks and i can say that my mom for those that don't know introduced abbey and million dollarson to each other. she didn't do that often but she had that feeling. abbey thanks for having us here and we're happy
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to bring us to a concluding thought and memory of your own about milton. [applause] >> thank you all so much for being here today. i would like to think wherever he is milton is getting to take this all in. all of you remembering him, your stories about him, this tribute to him. he would have loved it and he would have loved it was in this place, in city hall. over the years we met up after work when he was here for a meeting or get things signed and i loved walking through the halls with him and he would tell me whose offices were where and san francisco names he and his family knew l he point d out things i wouldn't notice in the
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building. we would run into people that knew him and stop to chat or talk about the latest political happening. i don't know if it was this room or the other one across the hall i met up with him on the wedding anniversary in 2008 and the first day gays and lesbian got to be married and he married several and i joined him. one of the weddings were large and the other two were intimate and older couples that had been together for years and came alone or with a friend to witness and there to sign the papers and the ceremony and no big deal. milton insisted of escorting them up to the top of
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the building and the moment of took everyone for surprise and there was a deep current and meaning of saying those words and vows. it was incredibly moving. when we talked about it later milton said it was one of the most fulfilling things he did and his sense to justice and long awaited justice and his pure delight in being a party of other's joys. milton was a transformer. he loved bringing people together and making it happen and being part of it all and he loved san francisco. i was born and raised here too as we joke "on the other side of the park". he grew up in jordan park near
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children's hospital and i love how knew all of the corners of the city and found the restaurants in the holes and exploring the castro and swimming at the corcordia club and not in the nude as his father's generation did and taking the boy to the wells wells fargo museum or chinatown or the noon time calendar thing and throw the things out the window and come down in a shower. he loved it all. he treasured his family and san francisco history. his grandfather the judge and his parents involved in state politics of course want his family settled in the foot hills in the 1850's and we were
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lucky to show the boys this gold country this past june as caro told you about and other treasured family trips we took this summer. milton was dedicating to preserve the city's history and beautiful buildings and the new mission theater and the columbo building in north beach and had pet projects and recruited his friend fred and the paintings there and you can see them and next to the brick wall next to it and turn of the century full painting. he was determined to document these and lest they not be forgotten. he wanted to create city wide --
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okay, the perma stone thing was a joke but one idea was to preserve the neon signs in the tenderloin and elsewhere. he was so creative and had so many great ideas and waiting until he settled down and the kids were older to set into motion. he believed in enhancing the beauty of the city and what is more and this is at the heart of who milton was. he saw this inseparable from building the community and bringing neighbors together to care for new and older trees. who can say which was the primary goal and the secondary goal? bringing the past into a revitalized present or the community to strengthen the ties together, their connections while doing this work? milton didn't see them as separate. okay. now i'm going to talk a little bit -- i know you have heard of his work on
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the college board but i'm going to talk more about it. when milton first ran from the point of view of little bit of political wife basically. when milton first ran for election it was the summer and fall of 2000 and we weren't married yet although we did get engaged during the campaign and a whole another story i won't be telling me. i learned a lot from the campaign. for one thing it gave me a glimpse into the childhood and the mother was involved and i think the campaign was old style and very effective. extensive pamphletting, bingo nights and a specialty of hers and sunday church services and reaching out to everyone at every opportunity, gog any and all events no matter how not related to the election or
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small. we see the same people in many places and at the college board and sometimes the candidates would out number the citizens coming to attend the event and in fact that wasn't unusual at all. many of you here know this world but i did not. some made me smile, and some things inner vaiting and later milton turned this into a lifelong variety of running jokes. one is for example if he was running late and a pta meeting or five year old birthday at a play ground and he would arrive "did i miss the introduction of the elected officials". what? >> [inaudible] >> yeah. milton wanted to reform this process. god knows i don't know how someone could reform that process at this
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point although i wish they would. it's completely antidemocratic. the first idea was start with a political and get everyone to stand with every behind and instead each democratic club having a large questionnaire and like college essays and a list of questions to answer once and each club could pick two questions that spoke to its membership. i say this was very milton and excelled finding good ideas and make things easier for everyone and more democratic and transparent and finding ways to have a conversation and remove obstacles in the way. this is one i wish he could have finished but he got too sick to implement it. if anyone would like to take it up in his name i know many would be grateful.
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the next thing that was shocking for me is how ard douse it is and consuming for everyone and all the focus is getting the job and not doing the job once you have it. what is ironic the members don't put it into the actual work when elected and at the time i think it was true and i was disillusioned at that point and i asked him to prove me wrong and he did. he was diligent and wrote comments in the margin and questions large and small they provoked. he met with people and met with teams how to improve things. he connected with other community college board members to see how they ran. he seeked out advice and only the board member who gave out email and phone number to the public and he got calls
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from students and others waiting to advocate for them. this is reminding he and when swearing in would lift up the boys so they could be near him. don't touch that. i think -- i was going to say what john said. when he was really ill he still went to the meetings. he went to one after having pneumonia and then came home. even toward the end of his life he went to meetings and pushed for accountability and change. he wasn't as shocked as i was by the campaign but was shocked -- >> [inaudible] >> you know what sweetie? there are a bunch of toys over there.
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the first thing that milton did -- here you can stand by me just don't touch the microphone. okay. the first thing he did was refused for vote for retroactive resolution and not like the board and rubber stamped things by the college administration and he refused to vote for anything that was already done. he was by sheer tenacity able to share this practice and felt it was the role to be of the public and bring this in policies to the college. he fought to inch what the culture of the board and question and access to information and evaluate what the chancellor and administration were actually doing, so he wanted to evaluate
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it but needed to know what was going on like john was talking about, what people were actually doing. he pushed and pushed for transparency and got so much hell for it. he wasn't loyal and a team player and he was right and proved right by events and worked with people and even though who didn't agree with him. he listened and pushed for the sustainability plan and lead to new partnerships and change. he was honest. he refused to take considerations from administrators and surprisingly a big consideration to the college board and wouldn't feel they needed to give money to ensure the support. he was passionate about this keeping things transparent and sprailt and clean. his entire time on the board he was straightforward to what was wrong with things
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and his a liege yens was to those that elected him and with due respect to all of the politicians here i think those are rare characteristics. enough about politics. before we enjoy the refreshments set out i want to say something about milton and the boys, as milton as a daddy. he was a wonderful father. he loved his boys. he would have been more tolerant than i am right now about theo up here. he loved their quirkiness. he saw it, delighted in the uniqueness of each of them. you have to let me speak. you know what honey. you see daddy. just like the other treasures he collected, an old pharmacy cabinet or boxing
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glove or a painting he wanted to hang on to every era in his young kid's lives. we have envelopes and envelopes of their baby hair and first, second, third haircut and this is him, scraps of paper where we recorded first words and conversations. miltons would take photos of them and not just of their lovely faces but theo's hands as he went up to the window sill. will's earnest expression and he adored them and they adored him. he hated seeing them suffer and even the daily hood hard things. even when he wasn't feeling
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well he would lay down with them when they were having trouble fall falling asleep at night. they switched off sitting on his lap at disneyland and even carried him on his shoulders until recently. he was so attuned to them, to their own little experience of the world, and he would come up with creative solutions which seems to me like occasions for limit setting. i remember how upset at two and three how nathan would be and it wasn't how he picture today and miltion transformedded that into experience of pleasure and making a picnic in doors with full restaurant experience and illustrations, or giving -- i am going to tell something you
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remember. or giving three year old reluctant bathers in the sink and they ask for repeats of that. one thing that happens with brain tumors in the frontal lobe you lose the ability to see. all right. i'm going to set a limit right now. you guys have to leave the podium. there you go. but milton was to the last always keeping his kids in mind. this summer will and theo who are five -- excuse me, five and three quarters became fascinated with my eye glasses. sometimes i let them try them on so i am practically blind out them and just a few weeks milton would drag his caregiver to look for stylish frames that the
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boys could wear. he didn't want their eyes damaged by reading glasses and was proud to find them at the mall and the boys loved them. even then he was looking out for his boys. some of you may know this story already but bear with me. i keep coming back to it in my mind . the day before he died the last words were "uumm" and the boys knew that he was loser to death. after he came home with hospice care nathan made a root bill float to temp him. he loved it. the day before he died he wasn't moving much. we
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were trying to get milton to take water or broth all day and shut his lips firmly. you want to introduce theo. >> no. introduce hippo. >> okay. you introduce hippo and you have to go sit down. okay. ready? go on. >> okay. this is hippo our fourth brother in the family. now you guys need to go sit down. >> he's not a brother. >> okay. so i'm going to go back to the story and then we're going to eat. milton hadn't been eating or drinking for over a day and the boys knew that meant he was closer to his death and nathan made -- i know. i already did. nathan had made
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him a root beer float to temp him and he loved it. the day before he wasn't moving and not speaking and we were trying to get him to take water or broth and shut his mouth tightly and when the boys got home nathan made him another root beer float and milton went "uumm" and like he was saying out of the depth of his being. i love you. i am drinking you in and you are delicious. before he died he wanted to make sure i knew how much he loved me and knew that he knew how much i loved him. in the last few
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days of his life when friends would come milton will open his eyes and stare at him although he couldn't speak and his stare meant you mean so much to me and i want you to know that and he is appreciating the love and giving it right back to you. he loved to host a party and in his honor i say go enjoy the delicious food and drinks and remembrances of him in conservations and thank you all for coming. >> thank you all and make sure to sign the guest books
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